Barrow AFC 2 Aldershot Town 1

On plenty of occasions this season, those with a connection to Barrow AFC will have walked away after their matches thinking ‘how did we not win that game?’

After their 2-1 victory over Aldershot Town at Holker Street last Saturday, the question will have changed to ‘how did we win that game?’

There wouldn’t have been too many complaining while doing so, however, after the jubilation of seeing John Rooney’s penalty in the sixth minute of stoppage time find the net.

It was simply nice for the tables to have been turned, for a change.

This was actually one of AFC’s most ineffective performances in recent months, as they toiled against an Aldershot side who are deep in trouble in the National League’s relegation zone.

Passes that players would usually complete subconsciously were going astray, while out of possession they drifted out of shape and were susceptible to counter attacks.

But during the closing stages, Barrow finally woke up and were eventually able to snatch the points. Manager Ian Evatt has been frustrated by the amount of legitimate penalty shouts for his team that officials have ignored this season, but he got his wish this time as referee Gareth Rhodes pointed to the spot not once, but twice.

The first of these late lifelines was spurned, though, as Josh Kay, who had been bundled over by Alex Finney, had his tame effort save by Aldershot ‘keeper Jake Cole after 86 minutes

But just when it looked as though AFC would have to settle for a disappointing point, Rhodes spotted a handball after Dan Jones had flicked on Rooney’s corner deep into added time.

This time, Rooney took on the responsibility. The last time he had done so was also in the dying embers of a match: the 2-1 defeat against Solihull Moors in September. He blazed over that day.

At the same end as that nightmare moment, the 28-year-old made no mistake this time, drilling it down the middle.

The only spell in the game where Barrow had looked like their usual selves was after Dior Angus’ 32nd-minute opener.

That had come after the Shots had spurned a couple of good chances and it was well-taken, as Lewis Hardcastle’s perfectly-weighted cross gave Angus the easy task of nodding in.

It was a poacher’s finish from the Port Vale loanee, the sort we haven’t seen enough of since Tyler Smith was recalled by Sheffield United in December

Opportunities to extend the lead were missed – Jones shooting wide in going for power when through one-on-one, while Hardcastle almost conjured up a moment of genius when his 35-yard free kick clipped the bar.

The Bluebirds lost their lead just before the hour when Adam McDonnell found the bottom corner from the edge of the area, as Aldershot claimed a much-deserved equaliser.

It was their only shot on target in the game, but it doesn’t tell the full story as they were definitely the sharper side at this point.

So, luck shone down on Barrow for once, but after speaking to Evatt and Rooney post-match, they’re not kidding themselves. They know they’ll need to produce better than this at promotion-chasing Wrexham tomorrow.

Barrow AFC (4-3-3): Dixon, Barthram, Hird (Jennings 67), Jones, Brown (Jameson 36), Rooney, Taylor, Hardcastle, Kay, Turner (Hindle 68), Angus

Subs not used: Blyth, Burgess

Aldershot Town (4-3-3): Cole, Bernard, Menayese, Elokobi, Finney, Howell, McDonnell (Gallagher 83), Booty, Berkeley-Agyepong (McDonagh 71), Mensah, Goddard (Fenelon)

Subs not used: Lelan, Hall